6

On a server running Ubuntu 14.04 I see You have new mail in the motd every time I log in via SSH.

Q: Who is telling me this?

Mail does not find anything, and I do not expect any mails on this server.

crontab for "me" and "root" contains MAILTO="" .

The text You have new mail is not present in /etc/motd or /var/run/motd.

Some commands I hope are relevant:

me@AtomServer:~$mail
No mail for me
me@AtomServer:~$sudo mail
No mail for root
me@AtomServer:~$sudo ls -l /var/mail
total 8
-rw------- 1 la   mail 1 Jul 15 22:12 me
-rw------- 1 root mail 1 Jul 27 19:59 root
me@AtomServer:~$

me@AtomServer:~$grep '^s.*motd' /etc/pam.d/sshd
session    optional     pam_motd.so # [1]
me@AtomServer:~$$ls -la /etc/update-motd.d
total 48
drwxr-xr-x   2 root root  4096 May 13 13:38 .
drwxr-xr-x 127 root root 12288 Jul 27 20:06 ..
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root  1220 Apr 19  2012 00-header
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root  1358 Apr 19  2012 10-help-text
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    46 Jan 30 21:57 50-landscape-sysinfo -> /usr/share/landscape/landscape-sysinfo.wrapper
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root   149 Aug 22  2011 90-updates-available
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root   129 Sep 30  2011 91-release-upgrade
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root   129 Jun 16  2014 95-hwe-eol
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root   142 Aug 22  2011 98-fsck-at-reboot
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root   144 Aug 22  2011 98-reboot-required
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root root  1158 Apr 19  2012 99-footer
 me@AtomServer:~$

me@AtomServer:/etc/update-motd.d$grep -ri 'mail' *
me@AtomServer:/etc/update-motd.d$

/etc/motd.tail does not exist.

  • motd is managed by pam_motd module..what are the outputs of grep '^s.*motd' /etc/pam.d/sshd and ls -a /etc/update-motd.d ? – heemayl Jul 27 '15 at 19:20
  • @heemayl I added the outputs to the original question. – Wirewrap Jul 27 '15 at 20:11
  • Ok..check teh contents of the files in /etc/update-motd.d especially 99-footer and 00-header ..you can add these to your question or use paste.ubuntu.com and give the link here.. – heemayl Jul 27 '15 at 20:13
  • 1
    Seems like it is given by shell itself..whats the output of echo "$MAIL" ? – heemayl Jul 27 '15 at 20:45
5

Well, this is being done your shell itself. Apparently it is monitoring the file (or directory) pointed by the MAIL (or MAILPATH) environment variable.

This is documented in man bash :

MAIL   
       If  this  parameter  is  set  to  a file or directory name and
the MAILPATH variable is not set, bash informs the user of the arrival 
of mail in the specified file or Maildir-format directory

On a different note the contents of motd is actually governed by the PAM module pam_motd (the shell might have something to add though as per user configuration files).

By default pam_motd shows the static content of the /etc/motd file along with the dynamic outputs generated from running scripts in the /etc/update-motd.d directory (using run-parts).

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